Centennial kumquats are a mash-up between everyone’s beloved mandarin oranges and kumquats. This sweet yet tangy fruit grows on a stunning tree of waxy green and yellow leaves, and pops of color. Centennial kumquats are not your everyday kumquat. Keep reading on to see all there is about these magical little fruits.
History of the Centennial Kumquat
It is believed that the Centennial kumquat is a result of a spontaneous mutation founded by HC Barette in 1986. This mutation occurred at the Whitmore Foundation Farm in Leesburg, Florida, where they planted and grew the Nagami kumquat. It is believed that one of these Nagami trees was pollinated by an unknown source that, in turn, created the Centennial kumquat, talk about a happy mistake.
Characteristics of the Centennial Kumquat
This small upright growing tree produces a shrubby appearance with waxy green and yellow leaves. The Centennial kumquat flowers tiny white flowers before the production of the immature fruits, which are small, dark, and light green striped.
As the fruit matures, it turns into a bright orange oval that stands out against the dark green and yellow leaves. Once fully mature, you can expect the Centennial kumquat tree to reach anywhere from four to eleven feet in height and three to four feet in diameter.
Centennial kumquats have slightly acidic, very sweet, juicy flesh, and a thinner outer peel. The longer the fruit matures, the sweeter this kumquat variety becomes.
Uses and Recipes
The best feature of the Centennial kumquats is you can use them fresh as a snacking kumquat, or you can use them in savory or sweet cooking and baking.
Roasted Centennial Kumquat & Ricotta Toasts
These roasted kumquats mix amazingly well with the sweet taste of the ricotta cheese and the crunchy toasts. These make amazing appetizers that look so fancy and yet taste surprisingly rustic. You can find the recipe at Six Snippets.
Kumquat Rosemary Tart
The Centennial kumquat would work perfectly well with this fantastic recipe. The sweetness of the kumquats mixed with the floral notes of the rosemary hits perfectly, making this such a sweet yet refreshing bake. You can find the recipe at Bakes By Brown Sugar.
Chef John’s Kumquat Marmalade
You will have to try this delicious recipe with a uniquely different take on a marmalade. This fantastic preserve comes together in no time and uses the freshest ingredients to add some pizzaz to your morning toast. You can find the recipe at All Recipes.
Preserved Whole Kumquats
You might be left with more of a harvest than you know what to do with and if that is the case you may want to look into preserving them so you can use them at a later time. This super easy recipe will show you just how simple it is to preserve whole kumquats in spices to use in a ton of recipes in the future. You can find the recipe here at The Spruce Eats.
Health Benefits of the Centennial Kumquat
Citrus fruits are full of healthy benefits for our bodies and minds. These kumquats are packed with vitamins and essential oils that are ideal for daily diets.
Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that sustains all life, and these little Centennial kumquats are filled with it. Vitamin C helps to boost our immune systems and is necessary for the growth and health of our tissues.
All citrus fruits also contain ample amounts of vitamin A. Vitamin A helps boost immune systems, supports bone health, and may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Fiber is a daily must-have when it comes down to diet. Fiber helps control blood sugar levels, maintain a healthy intestinal tract, and even help prevent certain types of cancers.
Growing the Centennial Kumquat
The Centennial kumquat can grow either in pots or straight in the ground as long as you plant them in the USDA Hardiness zones eight to eleven. These trees can be grown indoors and outdoors or even sat on a patio or porch in the summertime and moved inside if you have more harsh winters.
Soil and Sunlight
These kumquat trees prefer coarse well-drained soil if planting them into the ground, and if potting, pick a course, acidic and well-drained soil.
As far as sunlight, these trees can take half of the days worth of full sun, so part sun, part shade, would work wonderfully. If you plan to place these trees in pots and have them indoors, ensure they stay near a nice sunny window.
The Centennial kumquat is self-pollinating, which means they do not need any other pollinators around to help in the production of fruits. If you want to give them a helping hand, take a small paint brush and dust the pollen from flower to flower.
Bloom Time and Bearing Age
You can expect to see these trees in full bloom mid-spring with their petit white flowers covering most of the branches.
Unfortunately, you won’t see any fruit being produced until the tree is at least two years old and has been established for about one to two years.
Watering and Fertilizing
The Centennial kumquats prefer wet, well-drained soil, so there is no need to over-water these trees, but if trying to establish, make sure the soil keeps a slight moisture level at all times.
Fertilize three times a year using citrus tree fertilizers. The best times to do so are late winter, spring, and early fall.
Pests and Diseases
Even when planted outdoors, these kumquat trees are rarely affected by any type of pests. One thing you may need to keep your eyes open for is slugs.
If planted indoors, aphids and mites may find their way onto your plants but can be eradicated with simple measures.
Diseases on these plants are also uncommon. Making this one easy to care for kumquat trees.
Once you have a well-established tree that begins to bear delicious kumquats, you can expect to harvest late fall to early winter. Some harvests may even bring you up to thirty pounds of fruit. You better remember to jot those recipes down.
Purchasing the Centennial Kumquat Tree
Know that you know everything there is to know about the amazing Centennial kumquats. You’re going to want to purchase one of these fantastic trees.
Nature Hills sells the most stunning trees, and you are sure to receive a kumquat tree that is three years old, healthy, and easy to establish. That way, you will be harvesting your fruits in no time.
Time to add one of These Amazing Centennial Kumquat Trees to Your Garden!
Easy to grow, beautiful, and tasty, the Centennial Kumquat is a must-have when wanting to grow easy fruit trees. These plants are no fuss, and if you live where the winters get a bit too chilly, you can easily place the tree indoors.
Once established, you’ll receive a large harvest of these sweet tiny fruits perfect for making baked goods, jams, and more.
Excited for more kumquat content? Check out our kumquat trees page to learn more about this funky little citrus!